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Vajra Sky Over Tibet Reviews

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In order for audiences to better appreciate the underpinnings of Buddhism and the risks involved with modern-day practice in Tibet, the man who made Vajra would've needed to get his documentarian's hands a little dirty.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

November 30, 2006
Josh Rosenblatt
Austin Chronicle

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2/5

December 30, 2006
Nathan Lee
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Vajra Sky Over Tibet demonstrates one alternative for moviemaking inside Tibet: the rhetorically inflated vacation video.

| Original Score: 1.5/5

September 15, 2006
Andrew Wright
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

However honorable the intent, Bush's epic journey carries all the raw, visceral excitement of watching someone else's holiday slides.

Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

October 12, 2006
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Traditions of 'wisdom' and 'compassion' are talked about in 'Vajra Sky Over Tibet,' but a non-storyline film must be at a loss to image such concepts.

Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews

September 9, 2006
Michael Booth
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film simply takes too long to deliver its message.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2/4

September 15, 2006
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Provoking more ideas than it presents, Vajra Sky Over Tibet is a sketchy introduction to a fascinating subject.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: C

September 28, 2006
John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eventually you can't help wishing for some human contact. While the lulling narration by Bush and two exiled Tibetans is informative, it doesn't quite fill the gap.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 29, 2006
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The images of gods and ordinary Tibetans that Bush captures are more eloquent that his turgid narration, and overall the film works better as a travelogue than an introduction to Tibetan Buddhist beliefs or history.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

September 15, 2006
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

[A] reverential act of bearing witness to a culture and religion being systematically erased...

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

September 6, 2006
Theodore Bale
EDGE Boston

It's a loving effort, and an important addition to the body of films about this extraordinary, sacred region of the world.

Full Review Source: EDGE Boston | Original Score: A-

September 13, 2006
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An extraordinary and enthralling documentary about the richness of Tibetan Buddhism and the current threats to its continued existence in its homeland.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 5/5

September 6, 2006
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Beautifully photographed in dazzling colors and with hypnotic chanting music... .

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A+

October 31, 2007
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gorgeous, meandering travelogue that only gradually bares its teeth.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

September 8, 2006
Phil Hall
Film Threat

Not only the year's best documentary, but it is also among the finest films ever made about religion.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 5/5

November 8, 2006
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A well-photographed inside look at a fascinating culture and its people.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

September 13, 2006
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The material is so compelling that we keep watching.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

September 22, 2006
Richard Kuipers
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A]n illuminating meditation on that deepest of Buddhist philosophical concerns -- impermanence.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 6, 2006
John Patterson
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A tonic for Buddhists, no doubt, it offers many pleasures to atheists as well.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

September 7, 2006
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine

... feel more like the kind of underground political exposes that have previously captured life under the Taliban or the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-il.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

September 8, 2006
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
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